To The Daily Sun,
In his op-ed on Dec. 9, E. Scott Cracraft says one correct and important thing, "a 'right' ends where the rights of others begin." Nevertheless, most of the rest of his op-ed, e.g., the stuff about snake handlers, attempts to convince readers that it is okay for Obamacare to violate employer religious rights by forcing employers to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. Fortunately the Supreme Court did not agree.
Actually Obamacare doesn't require employers to provide health insurance except under certain conditions. And, employers meeting those conditions can choose to pay a fine/tax instead.
Many businesses cannot absorb the large increase in health insurance cost caused by Obamacare, even by raising prices of goods or services, so they are forced to take actions that hurt workers.
To avoid the Obamacare insurance requirement some businesses are cutting to fewer than 50 full-time jobs. (This is particularly devastating to workers who can't find decent jobs and our economy because small businesses have historically been the source of most American job growth (many large businesses consolidate and cut jobs).) Or businesses can cut employee pay, benefits, or pay increases to cover the cost of the fines/taxes or the increased health insurance costs.
Obamacare (and other Obama policies) have devastated many middle-income Americans. Just during Obama's six years in office the number of poor Americans has increased by about 50 percent and the median income has declined by about 8 percent ($4,000). And, since most impact from Obamacare was postponed until after last November's election, much more harm is coming to middle-income Americans and to our national economy.
The truth is that Obamacare was never intended to help the American people. Many simpler, cheaper, and less damaging options to address our healthcare problems were rejected. Obamacare was created as another step along the path toward total government control (single payer) of our health care system.
For decades, big government proponents have been expanding government control over our health care, each intrusion creating new problems which are then cited as justification for more government control. (As President Reagan said, "Government is the problem.") Total control of our healthc are system provides politicians enormous control over our lives (Bloomberg's attempt to control beverage sizes reveals a tiny bit of the level of control they want).
In their pursuit of total control of our health care, politicians and their dupes demonize anyone presenting an obstacle. And so they demonize Hobby Lobby, a family-owned corporation which provides good pay and benefits, exemplifies its Christian beliefs by closing on Sundays and comparatively early on other days so employees can be with their families, and objects to funding abortions. Hobby Lobby provided health insurance to its employees that covered birth control, but not drugs causing abortions.
Unwilling to violate its religious beliefs, Hobby Lobby could comply with Obamacare by cutting full-time jobs, cutting pay or benefits to recoup the cost of the fine/tax.
Hobby Lobby sued so it could do what it felt was right (but not obligated to do) for its employees and still honor its religious beliefs. No people or business should be forced to hurt others or give up its firmly held religious beliefs. Fortunately the Supreme Court agreed.
The United States Constitution was created to protect people's natural (or God-given) rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Progressives often try to confuse people by lumping politician given (legislated) "rights," e.g., Social Security or welfare or health care, with natural, constitutionally protected, rights. Politician given "rights" will vanish when they no longer benefit the politicians.
Politician provided "rights" which forcefully transfer wealth, e.g., employers must provide health insurance, violate Cracraft's assertion, that one person's (employee's) rights must not infringe on another person's (employer's) rights.
Although it violates some peoples' rights, politicians buy a lot of votes by transferring wealth. Many people object when rights are violated and balk at providing all the funds the politicians want to buy votes. So our immoral politicians borrow money to be repaid by the earnings (lives) of unborn Americans who can't object.
If you agree that big government threatens our liberties, that stealing from the unborn is immoral, and that job killing policies like Obamacare must be ended, then join the only people fighting for our liberties, balanced budgets, and pro-growth job creating policies, join a TEA Party.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:30
To The Daily Sun,
We insult babies to point out babyish behavior in New Hampshire's Republican-strong House of Representatives. Luckily, their babyish or bratty behavior may have an upside, later in 2016. During that election cycle, enough New Hampshire voters may be fed up with Republicans that they don't put their votes there, from the top of the ticket on down.
We have obstructionist Republicans from the top of the ticket on down. Let them cook their own goose, if that's what they want. Sorry though we may be for the damage they can do in two years.
Meaning of that idiom about the goose: "Be one's own worst enemy."
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:23
To The Daily Sun,
It now appears that we will all be facing higher electric bills for the foreseeable future. I take no joy in saying "I told you so," since it will make it that much harder to attract and maintain manufacturing and high-tech jobs in state, both of which need copious amounts of electricity at a decent price. Our reliance on natural gas power plants has left us up the proverbial creek. We have the power plants, but don't have the pipeline capacity to fuel them and that won't change in the near future.
Already the NIMBYs in Massachusetts and New Hampshire are gearing up to oppose the pipeline and tie it up in endless regulator red tape and lawsuits that could drag on for years. Meanwhile we will be paying the bill and may even see brownouts or rolling blackouts. Even if Northern Pass and every other form of alternative energy came on line tomorrow, it wouldn't be enough to offset the closing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant which is scheduled to close in just a few weeks.
We are part of the New England Power Pool, so we can get some extra electricity from the pool. But it will cost us dearly. Politicians of both parties know this but can't resist pandering to environmental groups who oppose any form of hydrocarbon infrastructure, period. It defies all reason, but the greenies seem to want to go back to some nostalgic rural utopia powered by solar panels and woodstoves and living off the land, though I doubt that any of these trust funders could handle the work to do it.
Business knows no loyalty to any state. They will move to where they can maximize their opportunities. We already have some of the highest energy and electric cost in the country because we haven't provided the infrastructure needed to support a prosperous industrial economy. The state is littered with abandoned mills that moved out to look for lower costs. The result is a brain drain where the best and brightest of our children fan out across the country to find decent jobs, leaving behind an aging population behind.
New England in general is very conservative and slow to adopt new ideas and technology which is part of what makes our area so charming. Almost any form of change brings protest from traditionalist and other groups. We have a very long history and are slow to change the things that have worked so well for so long; and frankly much of the changes offered aren't worth having.
But if you want a prosperous economy, you have to be willing to pay the price for the necessary infrastructure to support it. We need to bring our energy costs in line with other parts of the country to remain competitive. Without some changes we risk becoming a backwater and our young people our biggest export. All benefits come with a cost, because in life there's no free lunch.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:20
To The Daily Sun,
While everyone is waiting with bated breath for relief from the fire breathing dragon known ironically as the Affordable Care Act, more hospitals continue to burn through short revenues and close their doors.
Dr. Lee Hieb, an orthopedic surgeon and past president of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, reports that 18 acute care hospitals closed their doors in 2013. She also reports, "Today, all over America, small- and mid-sized hospitals as well as hospitals in inner city, poor areas are closing." She says that the reasons are not surprising since most of the victims are the smaller hospitals in those poor areas who serve a greater percentage of patients who have Medicaid and Medicare as their insurance. With reimbursements barely covering expenses in many cases, more doctors are requiring private insurance in order to remain solvent and in business. Others have chosen to take early retirement rather than risk suffocation from the mountain of regulations that tend suck the oxygen out of their desire to heal the masses.
It is no coincidence that the hospitals most dependent on government payments are failing at disproportionate rates. Physician shortages will continue to proliferate and quality of care will continue to suffer. The poor who are supposed to be helped the most by subsidized Obamacare-sponsored programs are actually getting hit between the eyes by the two by fours used to board up these hospitals. And just wait until the rest of the "Unaffordable and Inaccessible Lack of Care Act" regulations take effect in 2015.
The Congressional Budget Office previously reported that Obamacare will result in 2 million fewer full-time workers. It has already been shown to be a disincentive to work as more folks are forced into part-time work while the expansion of the welfare state continues to accelerate. Liberal-progressive types such as Nancy Pelosi actually believe this is a good thing because it releases workers from the chains of "job lock" to pursue leisure activities.
Who of sound mind and body actually thought that the way to fix the shortcomings in our health care system was to have the government run our health care, thereby taking over one sixth of the U.S. economy? Of course, that was precisely the goal of the Democrats. It had nothing to do with improving our health care system. Thank you for speaking the truth Jonathan Gruber. He is the new poster child for the arrogant religion of liberal, progressive ideology. They really believe the end justifies the means because they just know they are right.
Modern day liberalism is nothing more than calcified condescension borne of closed-minded elitist academics and bureaucrats. It is a terribly misguided belief that has begun to harden the nation's arteries and threatens to cut off the very lifeblood of this constitutional republic.
"Good intentions and bad results" equal the modern day, liberal progressive model. The result is untold misery and death. Don't believe me? Read J.R. Dunn's, "Death by Liberalism." It is a meticulously sourced book that brings into clear focus the "fatal outcome of well-meaning liberal policies." A socialist model of government has never, ever been proven to be successful in the long run. It has however caused the death of untold millions for many centuries.
As former prime minister, Lady Margaret Thatcher reminded us, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Or in this case, you run out of the necessary quality and quantity of medical personnel and facilities. This will only continue to get worse unless, somehow, some way, we can scrap this Godzillian travesty by taking the air out of this bureaucratic behemoth before many more lives are shattered and lost. Republicans, it is time to put your big boy and girl pants on in January and save the best medical care system the world has ever known.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:15
To The Daily Sun,
L.J. Siden and Mr. Cracraft are at it again. In addressing America being founded as a Christian nation, they cite the Constitution.
I'd like to put out the question, does anybody know off the top of their head the date on which the Constitution was ratified? Probably not most. How about the date that the Declaration of Independence was allegedly signed. Most of us know that immediately, the 4th of July. Why? Because it was the official founding of our nation, not the ratification of the Constitution, which starts, "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union." The nation had already been founded at the time that it was written, as the preamble clearly states. Mr. Siden and Mr. Cracraft start there because it serves their purpose, not because they're interested in portraying and accurate presentation of American history.
America has never been a Christian nation by a federal mandate. I don't think anyone who knows anything about history is inferring that. Mr. Sidon and Mr. Cracraft and others go there because thy figure if they make that the straw man, that they can seem to win the argument.
Mr. Siden says in the opening of his letter, "the United States was not founded as a Christian nation. Those who make the claim portray themselves as knowing, but it's more an expression of emotion, not of empirical fact." I would encourage Mr. Siden to look at the Declaration of Independence our actual founding document; and let's be clear, without our winning our independence there would have been no Constitution. Here are some excerpts: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." "We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;" "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
The signing of this Declaration was the actual founding of our nation, and we celebrate it as such. And in it, it clearly expresses a reliance on the Creator in pursuing our independence, or if you will our nationhood. This is a historical fact.
Just who does Mr. Siden and Mr. Cracraft think this God upon whom these were relying upon was? They might examine almost any of the original drafts of our state constitutions to gain a clue. Of course then there's the colonies original charters they might look at. Oh then there's those pesky inscriptions on monuments found around the country. Maybe, Washington's Farewell Address, they might want to read? Perhaps they might read the inscription on the Lincoln memorial? Or maybe they could even examine state laws that were on the books even into the 20th century.
Even the section of Article VI of the Constitution that they allude to, they did not quote it, I will; it requires an oath or affirmation of officers in support of the Constitution. What is the weight of an oath or affirmation if there is no Supreme Judge. Here's the quote, "and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." This but was added because the writers understood the Christian orientation of the people at large and did not want others to be discriminated against, or to establish any one denomination over others.
Were all born-again Christians? No. But the church's many different denominations and splinter groups, some of whom even ceased being "Christian", exercised great influence not only in numbers, though this they did, but by consensus in the population and culture as a whole, and our values were Christian values, to the point that someone coming from America was considered a Christian whether he was one or not because he was from a Christian culture. This was the case though most of the 20th century.
The liberty that we have enjoyed has been a direct consequence of that Christian orientation. Even the checks and balances in our government are the result of a Christian understanding of unregenerated man's corrupt tendencies as opposed to modern progressives' naive optimism toward human nature.
Through public education influenced by humanism and a faithless U.S. Supreme Court our orientation as a nation has changed. And make no mistake about it, America's love for liberty was a direct consequence our Christian orientation. Except in a subculture that still holds to those Christian values you will see it no longer. Anyone who is truly interested in seeing the change that has occurred in our culture should Google the 1892 U.S. Supreme Court case Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States. This letter is already long so I will not quote it. Yet if you will do the diligence to look it up. You will by comparison see to how Christianity is viewed today in America compared to how it was viewed then. The change is enormous.
So to answer Mr. Cracraft. Our government wasn't designed to be antagonistic toward Christianity, but it has become so.
And again to Mr. Cracraft, wasn't it the pluralistic Roman Empire which crucified Christians who would not sacrifice a pinch of incense to the emperor.
And again to Mr. Cracraft. John Locke, was he a deist, sir? It seems I remember he wrote at least one Christian apology. It's funny that the first great awakening should have occurred just before our revolution. And our laws were based on Christian principles.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:12